This bag of "Thick Cuts" is from Oh Boy! Oberto, but you can't find it in any stores, with the exception of their factory store in Seattle, otherwise you'll have to find it online, and good luck!
It's sold only in one pound bags, and considering it's low price, and high volume, it's likely a lower grade of meat than what Oberto normally offers. The biggest issue with one-pound bags of jerky is that you have to pay $15 to $50 to buy a bag, and then you better hope the jerky is snackable enough, or else you might end up not eating it all.
Interestingly, this jerky isn't manufactured by Oberto, it was private labeled through Lucksen Trading Company, a jerky maker in Arcadia, CA, who operates as "KMB Foods", making such brands as Cactus Jacks, Pacific Coast, and Cattlemen's.
Beef, brown sugar, dried honey, soy sauce, water, sodium lactate, wine vinegar, natural smoke flavor, salt, flavorings, citric acid, sodium nitrite. Treated with potassium sorbate to ensure freshness.
The tastes I pick up from the surface of these pieces is a moderate level sweetness, and that's about it. In the chewing, I get more sweetness, and a little bit of natural meat flavors.
My first thoughts on this jerky is that this stuff looks very similar to Buffalo Bills "Dead Meat" line, and sure enough the Dead Meat was made by the same private labeler. But the ingredients are different and the nutrition facts are different. The natural meat flavors in this Oberto tastes exactly the same as the meat in the Dead Meat line, and it chews exactly the same. But the seasonings and flavorings are different.
The dominant taste of this Oberto jerky is largely the sweet flavor. I can't really say that this tastes like honey, all I can say is that it's sweet. About half-way through the chewing that sweetness wears off and all I'm left with is the natural meat flavors.
The natural meat flavors are not strong, but just enough to notice in the chewing. It's the second-most dominant flavor. It's got a slight stale flavor, as if it's just starting to turn. Here and there I find a piece with some visible bits of fat, and it gives off a strong "rank" taste. And in case you're wondering, the "sell by" date on this is Sept 2009.
There isn't a third dominant taste.
The level of salt intensity in this is light, in fact I can't even say that I notice it at all. And nor do I sense any smokiness despite the ingredients list showing natural smoke flavor. Compare that to the Buffalo Bills Dead Meat "Hooah Hickory", which has a well pronounced saltiness and smokiness.
And the soy sauce also listed in the ingredients list? I don't taste it at all either.
These appear to be slices of whole meat, sliced medium thickness, and in small to medium sized pieces.
This is mostly a dry jerky, though maybe just a tad bit of moisture. It still maintains a good deal of flexibility. It takes some effort to tear apart, and is kind of on the tough side to chew.
The chewing texture has some steak-like character to it. But these pieces also have a chewy character that requires several chews before it starts to feel something like a steak.
It's a pretty clean eating jerky, I don't pick up any residue on my fingers, and find nothing falling into my lap.
I do see some bits of fat on these pieces, and I do find streaks of gristle here and there.
I paid $15.99 for this 16 ounce package at the Oh Boy! Oberto Factory Store in Seattle, WA. That works out to a price of $1.00 per ounce, putting this right on the border of average and cheap.
For general jerky snacking purposes, and at this price, it has a poor value. I don't really find much snackability in this. There isn't much taste in this aside from the sweet, and the stale tasting meat is a turn off. Plus, it's not easy-eating. I think it's a waste of money because it's sold in a one-pound quantity and I doubt most people can tolerate the whole thing, let alone eat it before it goes bad. If it were sold in a 2oz package, at a similar price, it'd be a better purchase.
As a brown sugar & honey variety, it's a great value at this low of a price. And if that's primarily what you're interested in, then maybe it's worth buying. But I tend to think the stale-tasting meat, and its somewhat tough eating is going to challenge your desire to eat this.
I'm giving this a dog treats rating.
The fact that I couldn't find much snackability at all automatically took this jerky down to a "fair" rating. But then I had to decide if this jerky was something that I could at least tolerate. I pondered awhile, and decided "no". While some pieces can be tolerated with its slightly stale flavor, there are still many other pieces, perhaps half of the contents, that have a stronger stale taste.
It might be tolerable if this jerky had more seasoning, like maybe more salt, more soy sauce, some red pepper, black pepper, garlic, more smokiness, but instead the only seasoning I could get out of this is sugar.
The chewing texture is actually not bad, maybe good. Even though it's tough chewing, there's a sizeable following of jerky snackers that prefer dry, chewy jerky. However, I didn't like finding several pieces of gristle. And while I acutally enjoy jerky with a little bit of fat on it, the fat on this stuff tastes quite bad.
My beer recommendation for this jerky is a hoppy, flavorful, IPA.
Rating: Dog Treats
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